I was talking to some French students yesterday, and I asked about the head shaking thing that I mentioned in my last blog. They say a shake from left to right means “No”. Maybe it’s only different in Germany, or maybe my classmates got their facts wrong.
Charles (my American housemate) and I went to the large Leclerc’s grocery store outside town via bus yesterday. It was his first time riding the bus in France. The transportation system here is so advanced. The bus stops each have electronic displays which tell you how many minutes there is before the next bus departs. Inside the bus, another electronic display tells you what the next stop is, and the current time. All in all, it is light years ahead of Saint John’s relatively un-advanced transportation system.
I spent a bit of time redesigning the look of my gallery. The general look is not my own, but rather a widely available template which I simply customized. I added my digital photos from Canada that used to be in my “Digital Photography” section. The new system is much more powerful, and far easier to maintain.
This upcoming week is fairly easy with only one tutorial class where my group meets with the professor, and two other classes. I was checking my schedule for the semester, and each week has only 2-3 days of classes. However, lots of extra work time is expected in the form of group work.
To close, I’d like to share an example where lack of common sense in the news media has gone too far. I read an article on CTV News about possible social instability that could be caused by an imbalance of China’s birth rate of males vs. females. The article closes with the following statement: “China’s current birth rate is 1.8, meaning one woman of childbearing age gives birth to an average of 1.8 children.”
One must wonder how ANY woman can give birth to “1.8” children or any other such fraction. Are most children born without one leg or arm in China? I can understand that the number came from calculations that would seldom yield a whole number, but in discussion as this, I believe a different wording of the question is in order. Perhaps something like “1.8 children are born for every woman of child-bearing age” would be more appropriate. My wording not seem to imply that some or all of these women would have given birth to fractional children.
In the end, I know what they were trying to say, but I think the wording is still a bit odd.
Have a great week!